Behavior: Motivation

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Behavior: Motivation
2013-10-19 16:19:03
Lecture six

L:6 Motivation
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  1. Cognition
    • Characteristics of certain types of brain processes that lie between incoming sensory information and the execution of behavior
    • These processes underlie capacities such as anticipation of the future, insight, ability to extrapolate from data, frustration etc.
    • Sometimes associated with consciousness
    • Concept of self
  2. Cognitive Understanding
    • Animal welfare concerns are based on the assumption that non-human animals can subjectively experience emotional (affective) states and hence can suffer or experience pleasure.
    • Accurate assessment of animal emotions (affect) is an important goal in animal welfare research
  3. Indicators of Emotions
    • Emotional arousal: emotional intensity or how activated the animal is
    • HPA
    • Heart rate
    • Behavioral responses
    • Emotional valence: whether the emotional state is positive or negative. This is critical to welfare
  4. Cognitive Bias
    • Cognitive processes influence and are influenced by an individuals emotional state
    • Information processing, attention, learning, memory and decision making
    • Reliable indicator of emotional valence
    • Not evidence that animal consciously experience such states (same as behavior and physiology)
    • Affective state alters cognition
    • More positive emotional state is associated with increased likelihood of judging ambiguous information positively (optimistic cognitive bias) more negative emotional state results in the opposite (pessimistic cognitive bias)
    • Animals more optimistic cognitive bias, ie. more positive emotional state, in enriched environments.
  5. How do we measure emotion?
    • "Cognitive bias": the influence of emotion on cognition
    • -based on the concept that depressed humans interpret ambiguous stimuli negatively
    • Judgment bias tasks: behaviors showing the anticipation of a positive or negative event in a response to ambiguous stimuli
  6. Why understand motivation?
    • Identify and alleviate the sources of some important frustration-related welfare problems
    • Reveal why abnormal activities like stereotypic behaviors are so common in captive animals
    • Improve training methods, manipulate mating and maternal care
  7. Motivation
    • Causal explanation of behavior
    • Proximate, mechanistic explanation of why an animal is performing a particular behavior pattern
  8. What motivation is
    • Motivation is the process within the brain controlling which behaviors and physiological changes occur and when
    • Motivation involves goals, actions, behavior sequences, homeostasis, drive and perhaps feelings and emotions
    • A concept used to understand the variability of behavior
    • A concept used to explain decision making. What well the animal do next when faced with choices
    • Why animals sometimes respond to stimuli and sometimes ignore them
  9. Black box approach
    • Not understanding the precise physiological mechanisms
    • Allows for simple modelling
    • Sometime mechanism is helpful (sow nest building)
    • Neuroscience and motivation see
  10. Some motivate behaviors
    • Feeding (hunger)
    • Drinking (thirst)
    • Thermoregulation
    • Sex
    • Aggression
    • Defense
    • Exploration
    • Migration
    • Foraging
    • nest-building
    • Incubation
    • Social interaction
  11. Motivational state and causal factors
    • Causal factors
    • -inputs to decision making center
    • -some factors may be irrelevant
    • -factors may change slowly (hormonal) or rapidly (environmental)
    • Various stimuli
    • Behavioral change = manifestation of change in causal factors
    • Motivational state: combination of all levels of all causal factors
    • Combined physiological and perceptual state of an animal, as represented in its brain
    • Models demonstrate 2 factors only in reality there are numerous factors and one must consider a multi-dimensional state
  12. Motivational strength
    • The probability of performing a given behavior and the frequency, or vigour, with which it is performed
    • eg. the more hungry the rat is:
    • the more likely it is to feed,
    • the more rapidly is will eat
    • the greater the quantity it will consume
  13. What motivation does
    • 1. Changes responsiveness to a constant (internal or external) stimulus
    • 2. Facilitates goal-directed behavior
    • 3. Potentiates some species-typical behaviors
    • 4. Facilitates decision making
  14. Homeostatic systems
    • Some motivations are concerned with regulating the body's internal state (feeding, drinking, thermoregulation)
    • The regulation of a variable within narrow limits is called homeostasis
  15. Homeostatic mechanisms
    • Negative feedback (if internal variable goes above or below the optimal, deviation is detected and corrected)
    • Feeforward (the animal anticipates departures of an internal variable from its optimal value and pre-empts them)
  16. Non-homeostatic systems
    Some motivations do not regulate the body's internal state, but have more strategic objectives (reproduction, defense of resources)
  17. Sexual motivation in female rhesus monkeys
    • Sexual motivation fluctuates during the oestrus cycle, peaking at the start of ovulation
    • Blood concentrations of oestrogen and testosterone peak just before the start of ovulation and may be responsible for increased motivation
    • Injection of these hormones increases sexual motivation
  18. Internal and external stimuli
    • Internal - hormones, etc
    • External - environment (flavor of food, season changing, time of day, smell of food, presence of predators)
  19. Learned associations
    • External stimuli can acquire or lose the ability to motivate behavior through learning
    • -food that makes sick, fish learning to fight by signalling light...
  20. Facilitating goal-directed behavior
    • In a complex environment, many behaviors need to be flexible
    • In many cases, motivation does not activate a fixed response, but activates behavior towards a goal
    • It is said to be goal-directed or purposive
  21. Potentiating species-typical behaviors
    • Some responses are hard-wired and always take the same form (sexually aroused female rat)
    • Appetitive behavior, active, searching flexible behavior
    • Consummatory Behavior, more sterotyped, unlearnt; species typical
  22. Facilitating decision making
    • In a complex environment, an animal has many things it needs to do
    • It can't satisfy all these motivations at once
    • It must decide which behavior to perform when and for how long
    • ie. Incubating vs feeding in hens & thermoregulation vs feeding in desert lizards
    • These motivations interact, and factors are involved that involve switching between motivations: the relative strength of the motivations and the cost of swithing
  23. Why motivation?
    • Poor welfare due to unfulfilled motivations
    • Evolution has shaped animals so that the most important behaviors are most highly motivated
    • Animals will suffer when highly motivated behaviors are prevented
    • Frustration
    • Measuring motivation is possible with demand experiments
  24. Do motivation to address
    • Poor welfare due to unfulfilled motivations
    • Understanding stereotypic behavior
    • Learning and training
    • Promote species typical behavior